No Name for a Sword, Ch 6

No Name for a Sword

Chapter Six

Ronin Writing

5 February 2017

“No Name for a Sword” is an Asian-inspired epic fantasy told through haiku and posted in weekly installments. Follow the journey of the swordsman Noh as he wanders a country filled with beauty, tradition, and war on a quest to find out his true name… and his purpose.

Read the Whole Series:

Chapter OneChapter TwoChapter ThreeChapter FourChapter Five


Voices embraced him

And Noh was pulled from the dark.

He lay in a bed.

 

A small woodland hut

Circled him, made of sticks and

Made solid with mud.

 

A cold breeze welcomed

Him back to the world, but a

Headache held him still.

 

“How dare you come here?”

A withered voice scratched the air.

“Your mother and I–”

 

No one was present.

The voice had come from outside.

Noh kept listening.

 

Another voice barged

Into the scratchy one’s words–

Soft, but fierce somehow.

 

“You would turn away

Your only son? Ha. And you

Call yourselves parents!”

 

The younger voice was

Clearly Suzu’s. Past the two

Arguing, Gods sang.

 

Good, Noh thought, the bells

Are safe. Against his body’s pleas,

He tried to sit up.

 

Searing pain slashed a

Trench down his arm and into

The side of his head.

 

He must have yelled out,

Because Suzu rushed into

The hut just after.

 

“He’s awake!” he called.

Another person hobbled in,

This one crooked. Old.

 

The man–Noh assumed

To be Suzu’s father–bent

Over Noh and frowned.

 

“Wound’s still infected,”

The old man grumbled. “He’s got

Maybe a day left.”

 

“Can’t you do something?”

Suzu begged. But his father

Shook his head.

 

“I won’t risk the turn.

You both need to leave as soon

As is possible…

 

…I’ve done all I can.”

Suzu’s father stole a glance

At Noh. Narrow eyes.

 

The old man sniffed and

Left the hut without further

Words. Suzu fake-smiled.

 

“Thought I lost you there,”

Suzu said, pulling up a

Stool next to Noh’s bed.

 

“You’re heavy, you know.

I had you on my shoulders

For at least six hours.”

 

“Where are we?” Noh asked.

Suzu thinned his lips. “I brought

You to my old home.”

 

“And what of my blade?”

“It is safe. As are the bells.”

Noh nodded. “Thank you.”

 

Pain pulled at his face,

And for a moment his cheek

Tightened on its own.

 

It relaxed after

A few seconds, leaving a

Numbness behind it.

 

“My father cleaned out

Most of the demon’s venom,”

Suzu said. “Some’s left.”

 

Noh rubbed his numb cheek.

“He’s afraid that I will turn?”

Suzu nodded. “Yes.”

 

“Well? Will I?” Noh asked.

“Doubtful… but, it could happen.”

Noh thought for a time.

 

“The Singing Temple,”

He finally said. “Maybe

The gods can heal me.”

 

“It’s a day’s walk, Noh.”

Noh gave his best shrug. “We must

Still return the bells.”

 

“Your body won’t last,”

Suzu argued. “You just aren’t

Strong enough for it.”

 

Noh sat up, roaring

The whole way, until his back

Was straight as a board.

 

Sweat dotted his brow.

An awful pain called for him

To collapse back down.

 

Still, his arms held him.

“We are… returning… the bells…”

He managed to say.

 

Suzu shook his head.

“You’re a stubborn fool, my friend.”

Noh grinned. “Perhaps so.”

 

“Rest for now, all right?

I’ll make a litter for you.

We can go after.”

 

Noh nodded, noting

The worry in Suzu’s face.

“We’ll make it,” Noh said.

 

He lay back in bed.

Suzu faked another smile.

“Yeah,” he said. “Maybe.”


Thank you for reading! Come back next week for more of Noh’s adventures! Like, comment, and share to support this artist!

No Name for a Sword is the intellectual property of Ronin Writing. Any attempt to copy, plagiarize, or reproduce this work without the express permission of the artist is not authorized.

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